Attached please find or Please find attached

Discussion in 'English Only' started by amandaincanada, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. amandaincanada

    amandaincanada Member

    Montreal, Canada
    U.S. and Canadian English
    Which is better, in the context of a more formal or business email tone, when sending a little email prompting readers to open an attached document?

    1. Please find attached the new Word document.

    2. Attached please find the new Word document.

    My boss and I have been rowing over this for a while now. I personally am for #2, as the syntax of #1 ("Please find attached") seems way off - to me it sounds clunkier and more like a direct translation from the French equivalent. But my boss doesn't believe me and persists on sending #1 to all of our most important clients. Thanks!
  2. difficult cuss Senior Member

    English England
    I would always use 1, like this...
    Please find attached, the new Word document
    the 2nd example makes me think of Yoda in the Star Wars films
  3. Anais Ninn

    Anais Ninn Senior Member

    London, UK
    I would use 1. It reads better, I think.

  4. amandaincanada

    amandaincanada Member

    Montreal, Canada
    U.S. and Canadian English
    I always liked Yoda.
    Thanks for your input even though you all sided with my boss. ;)
  5. MissFit

    MissFit Senior Member

    I'm on your side, Amandaincanada. I prefer #2 because I think it flows better, and it is simply the way I always heard it in typing class in high school (many years ago) and in my earlier years in the business world. However, both versions are now rather old-fashioned. I perused the keyboarding textbook that is used in the high school where I work now, and I could not find a sample memo or e-mail with either "Attached please find" or "Please find attached."

    It seems that modern business communication favors more modern, straightforward language such as these examples:
    I have attached the new Word document.
    The new Word document is attached.
    Please take a look at the attached Word document.
    Replace the old Word document with the new one which is attached.
    You will find the new Word document attached to this e-mail.
  6. Anais Ninn

    Anais Ninn Senior Member

    London, UK
    I've just googled the two, out of curiosity, and "Attached please find" got 249,000 hits while "Please find attached." got 690,000, if that tells you anything.

  7. difficult cuss Senior Member

    English England
    Googling isn't really to be trusted, unless of course it agrees with me and this time it does. Well done Google!
  8. Anais Ninn

    Anais Ninn Senior Member

    London, UK

  9. amandaincanada

    amandaincanada Member

    Montreal, Canada
    U.S. and Canadian English
    MissFit, thank you for that post. Not because you sided with me, but because you gave me some great suggestions for changing how we phrase that sentence in emails. I often find that the language we use at my company is too stiff/old fashioned/awkward. I think its partly because our Marketing dept is run by native French speakers who learned English (British, since we're in Canada) as a 2nd language 20-30 years ago. They have a hard time believing me when I make suggestions to have things sound less awkward or stiff, while still remaining appropriate for today's business world, because it sometimes goes against what they learned. I also have a hard time because I'm an American and most of our clients are American, yet surprisingly there is a language barrier between Cdn and American English... so it requires them to trust me on things sometimes, which they often opt not to do. anyways, I digress.

    What is the title of the book that you got the sample memos from?

    Also, I did the same thing and googled both phrases. Both seem well enough used to be correct, but I agree its always best to err on using whatever is more frequently used. However, after thinking about these two sentences so much I am beginning to believe that both sound too formal and somewhat awkward and there must be a better sentence to use.
  10. winklepicker

    winklepicker Senior Member

    English (UK)
    And it makes me think of some dusty clerk from the 19th century. Sorry!
  11. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    Well, if you're going for modernity, why not "I have attached the new Word document'? "Please find attached" (or "Attached please find") is also outdated, but very common in business letters still to this day.
  12. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    Business-writing texts have consistently condemned the phrase Enclosed please find; please find enclosed since the the late 19th century. These are archaic deadwood for here are, enlosed is, I've enclosed, I am enclosing. . . (Garner's Modern American Usage)

    As Miss Fit and Winklepicker suggest, the same would be said of attached please find; please find attached.
  13. winklepicker

    winklepicker Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Yes, this is much better.
  14. MissFit

    MissFit Senior Member

    Century 21 Keyboarding and Information Processing published by Southwestern Educational Publishing, Inc. It's at least six years old. I didn't make a very thorough search, so I can't say that those phrases never appeared in the book.
  15. SimpleEnglish New Member

    India - Tamil
    Well, the key question is what do you want the receiver to do once they find the attached document? We need to indicate the action that is expected from them.
    Most often, we want them to review the document.
    Hence, I would write as 'Please review the attached document'.

    Now, I was thinking about documents like status reports. We just want to file it off and ideally do not want to invite review comments on them. One can still write it as 'Please review the attached weekly status report'. But then, I really do not want them to review it!
    Any ideas for this?
  16. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    In 1965 I took a typing class in High School in preparation for college. They taught, "Attached please find..."

    It sounded awkward to me, but it was apparently business-lingo.
  17. Aaarghh, both are terrible, but n°2 is more like a translation from French IMHO, and n°1 is the real thing... used a lot less today, you won't find any "chav" using it though ;)
    Friendly is fine when it's to your team mate, or a friendly boss.
    The best one there is I'm enclosing
    "I'm enclosing the latest figures for you."
    Can be used for customers or professional-internal, but only if you have known them for some time. But definitely not for your CV.
    Good answer! My French colleagues just want a simple replacement, but often the "rule of thumb" is just that, it really depends on the circumstances. The aim of the attachment is just as important as the attachment itself.

    So when it's professional you will always try to be polite, unless (like I've already said) it's to your team mate, or a friendly boss:

    Please find attached my CV for your attention.
    (traditional and formal, can be used for your CV and wedding invites)

    Please find my CV attached for your attention.
    (Modern formal, better than the traditional version)
    [when you sign your email "yours sincerely/faithfully and best regards"]

    I've attached...I'm enclosing... the latest figures for you.
    (Modern business, for friendly associates/colleagues)
    [when you sign your email "best regards/regards/nothing"]

    Here's that excel file that you wanted.
    (Modern-casual, for team mates)

    [when you sign your email "regards/thanks/nothing"]
  18. sourcherry New Member

    Yes, it is business lingo. I always thought it sounded funny, too, but I work in finance, and it is definitely the standard opening to a business letter.
  19. beccamutt

    beccamutt Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    English - US
    I work in a very corporate setting, and I very often see "attached please find/see...", and in fact use it myself.
  20. dura New Member

    Thanks for your guidance.

    And thanks to the interesting thread you've introduced, I have another question.

    'Attached please find'....????

    It sounds so grammatically weird.

    Does this sentence mean the same as 'please find attached'?

    I thought the order of the word in English should be [Subject + Verb + Objectives], like I have dinner.

    I'm now surprised that the object can be placed at the head of the sentence.

    (Well, just for additional knowledge, in Chinese, they sometimes put the objectives at the head, but it's still happening only in verbal language.)

    Is it common to place the objectives like that?

    P.S I think I should have added the quote below the thread you've shown, but other quotes there are too old... So I just decided to add the quote here. Would it be OK?

    << Moderator's note:
    I have moved this post to the thread on this topic.
    Remember, we have a one topic-per-thread rule. ;)
    We don't mind new posts on old threads. >>
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2011
  21. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    This is an old, established phrase in business correspondence. I don't know the origins of it but it is in common use still today in many companies.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with the grammar. It is flowery and old-fashioned but not unique in its structure.

    For example: "Go to my sewing box and lift up the lid. Inside you will find a pair of scissors I need."

    "Inside" here is acting in the same way that "Attached" does in "Attached please find". The part that sounds a little odd to the modern ear is the "please". It is simply more polite. I could have said:

    "Be so kind as to look in my sewing box. Inside please find a small pair of scissors and bring them to me."
  22. Mansi_71 New Member

    Need to know about the differnce between two sentenses.
    1. "Please find attached the profile of Mr.Adhi for a suitable role in your Organisation"
    2. "Please find the attached profile of Mr.Adhi for a suitable role in your Organisation"
  23. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    The first one is the most probable. Please find attached... is a common business cliché.

    Please find the attached profile suggests that the profile has been lost and you want the person to look for it; but how can that be, if it's attached? It's not wrong, just a little strange.
  24. Phil-Olly Senior Member

    Scotland, English
    Yes ...for me, it always conjures up an image of an extremely large mailing bag. The recipient is being invited to rummage around in the bottom of said bag, amongst the discarded crisp packets, until they find the 'attachment'. I was always taught to avoid it like the plague, and just use "I enclose ...." And that was 30 years ago!
  25. ilamos New Member

    What is difference b/w please find the attached and attached please find?
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  26. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Welcome to the site, Ilamos.

    I don't understand b/w. Don't the answers above solve your problem? Perhaps you've missed a word out?
  27. ilamos New Member

    b/w is a short form of between.
  28. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    OK. I think I answered this in post #24, didn't I?
  29. ilamos New Member

    Thank you very very much, Mr,Keith Bradford.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  30. wordjunkie1 New Member

    I was mildly chastised some years ago for using this phrase at all, since it implies one has to look for whatever is attached. I was told it is a stiff, overly formal, Victorian phrase. Now I simply say: "Attached is...." or I am attaching........................".
  31. halmom Senior Member

    < This question has been added to an existing thread. Cagey, moderator. >

    I am always confused about what to say when I emaile file. What is correct? If none of them is correct, what do you say?
    ( I wrote a reference letter for a student and want to eamil it to someone who requested it)

    Please find the attached reference letter you requested.
    Please find the the reference letter I attached.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  32. Barque Senior Member

    That sounds like you're asking the recipient to go looking for the letter. :)

    The usual way of expressing it is: Please find attached the... (But it isn't as common now.)

    You could also say: The reference you requested is attached.

    < Threads merged. Thank you. Cagey, moderator. >
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015

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